Monday, November 21, 2011

P-Dub's Sloppy Joe's

Besides your local McDonald's drive-thru window or pizza shop, nothing says busy-family-night like Sloppy Joe's.  I've been known to turn to Manwich on a few occasions to quickly turn a pound of ground beef into a "meal." 

I admit to many short-cuts in the kitchen. 

This recipe for Sloppy Joes is so delicious and really doesn't take that much extra preparation than getting out the can opener.  Make a double batch and freeze the extras for those nights when what you had planned becomes "un-planned."  (Is that a word?)

And with the holidays upon us, how about inviting a couple of families over for a relaxed night of games?!  Make the Sloppy Joe's ahead of time and keep it warm in the Crock-Pot.  Offer some fun toppings, like shredded cheese or jalapeno pepper slices.  Have a variety of buns too.  This is where my eleven year old son chuckles over the fact that I used the word buns.

I digress.  Put on Jingle Bell Rock.  Keep it simple!  By the way, this is another from The Pioneer Woman.  Thanks once again Ree!

Sloppy Joe's
Here's What You Need:
2 Tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 large onion, diced
1 whole green bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced....I used 3 cloves to suit our tastes
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
2 Tablespoons tomato paste*
Tabasco sauce, to taste - optional
Salt/Pepper, to taste

Here's What You Do:
Add butter to a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add the ground beef and cook until browned all the way through.  Drain off most of the fat and discard.

Add the chopped onions and green pepper, as well as the garlic.  Cook for a few minutes or until the onions and peppers begin to soften.

Add the ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard and water.  Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the salt and pepper.  After it has simmered, add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce.  Adjust seasonings as needed to suit your family's taste buds.  The red pepper flakes and chili powder can be dialed up or down depending on how you roll.

Now, here's where you treat yourself to a bit of a splurge, a la Paula Deen...Spread the buns with butter and brown them butter-side down on a griddle or skillet.  Once the buns have a nice crispiness to them, spoon the Sloppy Joe mixture on them and add any toppings you might like to add. 

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